Learn how to microwave a sweet potato that is perfectly cooked in minutes with this easy microwaved sweet potato recipe. It's the easiest way to make this easy side dish!
You can cook a whole sweet potato in the microwave in a fraction of the time it takes to bake it in the oven!
I have been making microwave sweet potatoes for years using this foolproof method. Believe me, this easy method is the absolute best way and the fastest way to cook this perfect side dish!
The spuds turn out perfectly cooked every time. Best of all, they take just minutes to make, and you can cook more than 1 or 2 sweet potatoes in the microwave oven at a time.
How Long to Microwave a Sweet Potato
Microwave 1 medium sweet potato for 5 minutes on high power. (100 percent power) Use an oven mitt or tongs to turn over the potato, and microwave for additional 1-2 minutes or until fully cooked.
You only need a few ingredients for this sweet potato recipe as well as a few kitchen items. Full amounts are in the printable recipe card below.
- Sweet potatoes
- Butter (optional)
You will also need a microwave safe plate, fork, kitchen brush and hot mitts or kitchen tongs.
What Size Sweet Potato to Buy
When you shop for sweet potatoes in the grocery store, you probably notice sweet potatoes come in different sizes and grades. Around here, they seem to be either large or medium.
The amount of time it takes to microwave sweet potatoes depends on the size of the potato. So, keep that in mind when shopping.
Medium sweet potatoes are about 4 to 5 inches and around 4 to 5 ounces.
Large sweet potatoes are about 6 to 8 inches and around 7 to 8 ounces.
How to Cook Sweet Potatoes in the Microwave
First, you need to wash the sweet potato under cold water. Use a kitchen brush if you have one to scrub any excess dirt off of the skins.
If you don't have a brush, use a paper towel or kitchen towel.
Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel. Then, place them on a cutting board or flat surface.
Use a fork to poke a bunch of small holes in the sweet potato. This lets steam escape from the sweet potato during the cooking process.
I poke the potato a bunch of times--usually 4 times on each side. Make sure you get all of the sides so the potato cooks evenly!
Next, place the sweet potato on a microwave-safe plate. If you're cooking 2 or 3 sweet potatoes, arrange them on the edge of the plate so that they are not touching.
It's not necessary to wrap the potatoes in a damp paper towel. I've never done this, and the spuds are always perfectly cooked. But, if you want to use a wet paper towel, go ahead.
Microwave 2 sweet potatoes for 5 minutes. Then, use an oven mitt or kitchen tongs to turn them over. Microwave them for an additional 2-4 minutes or until fully cooked.
Medium sweet potatoes have a cook time of about 10 to 12 minutes.
2 Large sweet potatoes take about 15 minutes to fully cook.
3 Large sweet potatoes take about 20 minutes to fully cook.It depends upon how many you are cooking and the size of the sweet potato. The size and wattage of your microwave oven will also affect the cook time.
After cooking, cover the potato with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 1-2 minutes.
Keep in mind, the potato will continue to cook when you take it out. You can always add more time if you need to. Sweet potatoes are cooked when the potato is soft on all sides, and you should be able to easily pierce through the center of the potato with a knife.
Now, add your favorite toppings! You can top your cooked sweet potato with thin slices of butter or sour cream and a little salt and black pepper, as you would a regular baked potato. Make a quick lunch or dinner by adding fresh veggies, black beans or cooked chicken, beef or pork.
Or, for a sweeter flavor, top with brown sugar, maple syrup, marshmallows, or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
I like to use the cooked potato in some of my favorite sweet potato recipes. Make a sweet potato mash by scooping out the insides into a small bowl or large bowl if you are cooking a few. You can also do this in your Instant Pot. Or turn them into a sweet potato casserole! You can soften sweet potatoes for 1-2 minutes in the microwave before slicing for candied yams. It's an easy way to soften them!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
You can store your leftover sweet potatoes in an airtight container or freezer bag. They last for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat cooked sweet potatoes in the microwave on a microwaveable plate until heated through.
How long to reheat for again depends on the size of your sweet potato. The short answer is: larger potatoes take more time to reheat, and small sweet potatoes take less time.
Scoop out the insides, place in a freezer safe container, and freeze for longer storage.
Helpful Cooking Tips
You have to poke holes in the sweet potato to release steam when microwaving. Otherwise, it may explode.
You do not have to peel a sweet potato before cooking. The skin of a sweet potato is filled with nutrients!
Always microwave sweet potato in short increments. Microwaved food continues to cook after the cooking time is over, and you can always add more time if needed.
Cooked spuds are hot! Be careful to use oven mitts and tongs when handling hot food.
More Microwave Recipes
If you love cooking with a microwave, check out more of my easy microwave recipes, including my microwave acorn squash recipe and my easy microwave corn on the cob recipe. We also microwave baked potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, asparagus and cauliflower.
How to Microwave a Sweet Potato
- microwave oven
- 1 medium sweet potato
- Wash the sweet potato under cold running water, using a kitchen brush to scrub well
- Pat dry with a paper towel. Place on cutting board or flat surface, and poke a bunch of holes on all sides of the sweet potato with a fork
- Place sweet potato on microwave safe plate
- Microwave for 5 minutes. Use an oven mitt or tongs to turn over and microwave for additional 1 to 2 minutes or until potato can be pierced easily through with a knife and is soft on all sides
- Remove, and cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for a minute or 2 before eating
Nutrition information is estimated. Please do your own calculation to fit special diets.
If you search baked sweet potato recipe microwave, you'll get so many different answers. This easy recipe has worked for me for years, and I hope it works for you!
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Published in 2021 and updated in 2023.